“The IMF chief economist has told the BBC that Chancellor George Osborne should consider slowing down austerity measures in his March budget.
“We think this would be a good time to take stock,” said Olivier Blanchard, speaking to Radio 4′s Today programme.
He also said the global economy was “not out of the woods yet”.
In October, Mr Blanchard claimed in an IMF report that austerity had hurt wealthy countries such as the UK far more than most analysts had expected.
His comments come the day after the IMF cut its 2013 forecast for UK economic growth to 1% from the 1.1% predicted in October, and will put pressure on the chancellor as he prepares to deliver a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos later on Thursday.